Carmel Symphony Orchestra opens summer concert series


Carmel Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Anne Marie Chastain is getting her wish.

“Ever since I’ve been with CSO, I’ve heard people talk about how popular The Beatles concert was at Coxhall Gardens, how much people loved it and how beautiful it was to be in that space and hear the symphony live,” she said. “It’s been a personal goal of mine to have a summer concert series, and to do it at Coxhall Gardens is just tremendous.”

The CSO is partnering with Hamilton County Parks and Recreation to present three concerts at Coxhall Gardens’ Centerpiece Amphitheater in Carmel.

Carmel Symphony Orchestra will open with its Summer Solstice concert at 8:30 p.m. June 21. Principal Guest Conductor Joel Smirnoff will conduct summer favorites.

“We’ve brought Joel on board as our artistic adviser,” Chastain said. “He’s tremendous and full of so many creative ideas.”

Soprano Asako Tamura, who is from Japan, has worked with Smirnoff in the past.

“One of the numbers she is performing is Samuel Barber’s ‘Knoxville Summer of 1915,’” Chastain said. “They’ve performed that together in the past. She is singing (Giacomo) Puccini. She’ll be singing George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ and a Japanese folk song that Joel is writing the arrangement for. It’s just going to be gorgeous.”

Former CSO concerto competition winner Cooper Olsen, from Bloomington, will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The concert will end with special guest Blair Clark performing Stevie Wonder’s “You are the Sunshine of My Life,” arranged by Smirnoff.

The pre-concert starts at 5 p.m. with performances by Central Indiana Academy of Dance, Dhol Indian Drumming, Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Kathak (North Indian Classical) Dance Academy.

The CSO will return to Coxhall Gardens at 8 p.m. July 3 with Serpentine Fire, an Earth Wind & Fire tribute band. Actors Theatre of Indiana will perform patriotic songs by George M. Cohan from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

The final CSO concert at Coxhall Gardens will feature Motown and disco music at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

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